Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
Russian hero Ilya Kovalchuk said it best when he summed up his team’s ability to come back from a two-goal deficit to win the gold medal game of the World Championship against Canada in overtime Sunday afternoon.
“When you’re playing on the big rinks and you’re trailing by two goals, it’s always tough to come back,” Kovalchuk said.
There is a certain contingent of hockey snobs that look down their noses at the NHL product, all the while claiming the international game to be far superior, in large part because the players have so much room to display their creativity.
They are wrong, so wrong.
From Mike Heika at The Dallas Morning News,
Like, how did a 29-year-old center with eight games on the Stars’ regular-season roster become one of the unlikely heroes of the postseason? How is it that [Toby] Petersen, who spent 63 games with the Iowa Stars this season and has one point in 17 career playoff games, became the key to derailing Detroit superstars Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk? How does a man who is making less than $300,000 this season stifle two players who combine to draw more than $9 million in salary?
“It’s a pretty good story,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said.
Then again, the Stanley Cup playoffs are filled with these stories.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The Russians threw their gloves and helmets in the air, left their sticks littering the ice and headed to the corner to create a happy pile of players on top of Ilya Kovalchuk,who had tears in his eyes.
Remember when we saw Russians as being so stoic and emotionless?
Remember when we believed Canada had the market cornered on hockey heart?
Well, remember this.
note: original post timestamp was 9:16am on 5/18/08
from James Mirtle,
In any event, in mid-April, Greg went from being “Greg, the only hockey writer I know from Jersey,” to Puck Daddy, Yahoo!‘s resident NHL blogger and the first-ever full-time hockey blogger hired by a media organization.
At least that’s what I called him when I gave him a ring….
[JM] One of the things I asked him was how Puck Daddy would fit into the hockey blogosphere, and what his strategy was with the site. He is, after all, in uncharted territory.
“I think in hockey, there’s an incredible amount of amazing blogs out there, but at the same time, how many of them are updated 10 times a day? Or even five or six times a day like you have?
“There’s a niche to be filled in that instance. As talented and deep as the hockey blogosphere is, there is room for Yahoo! to do this thing in a real rapid-delivery sort of way and really stand out doing it.”
[JM] As far as the full-time part of the gig, I pointed out that Paul Kukla, a popular hockey blogger who has gone full time on his own and brought writers into the fold, has provided a bit of a model.
“I’m a little bit more in awe of him than I was a month ago,” Wyshynski said. “I feel like I’m going to have a heart-attack trying to keep this thing running. And that’s just from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Paul updates at, you know, two in the morning and shit like that. It’s a little amazing that he can keep the thing humming like he does.
much more on PD…
Thanks for the kind word Greg and as I have always said when people ask me about doing something like this on a full-time basis- The more you work the more you have to work! Get sleep whenever you can and think hockey 24/7, no breaks, no life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
This leaves an interesting battle ahead for the Penguins, who have lost just two games so far in the playoffs. Assuming the Detroit Red Wings will finally put the Dallas Stars away in the Western Conference final, the Penguins will face a complete team with more experience.
However, the Red Wings are weaker in one crucial spot: goal. Chris Osgood is not Fleury’s equal, which could be fatal given the quality of the Penguins’ shooters.
Fleury came into the season with a lot of questions surrounding him. But after he returned from an ankle injury late in the season, he began living up to the promise the Penguins saw when they took him first overall in the 2003 draft.
from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,
NBC, Versus, the suits in the NHL and, judging by their cocky attitudes, most Wings players feel the Stars have just been an annoying little speed bump on the road to their dream of Wings-Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Stars were supposed to facilitate that by doing what Philly did—going to Detroit and then going away.
Instead we have another hockey game at the AAC and a definite shift in momentum. The Stars have the hot goalie, one of the toughest captains, a cast of emerging youngsters and growing confidence.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But just 17 months after Canadian technology mogul Jim Balsillie walked away from his offer to buy the team—and presumably begin the process of moving the team to Canada—these same Penguins are headed to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr were leading the Pens to the second of back-to-back Cups in 1992.
From chaos to the Cup finals in the blink of an eye.
“It seems like a long time ago. It really wasn’t, but it just seems we’ve come a long way, on and off the ice,” GM Ray Shero said after the Penguins ended this Eastern Conference finals series with an emphatic 6-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 on Sunday. “It’s a great thing for the city of Pittsburgh and this franchise.”
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
This summer, Holmgren’s focus is going to be much narrower. The base of the team he built, the one that showed it was talented enough to get to the Eastern Conference final - a year after finishing dead last in the NHL - is intact.
Keeping it that way will be the first task. The Flyers have restricted free agents that include R.J. Umberger, Jeff Carter and Randy Jones. Losing any of those players would be a blow. Holmgren has to find the salary-cap space to sign them.
And then, he must add to the defensive corps. Jason Smith is an unrestricted free agent; he will not fit into the Flyers’ plans and neither will Jaroslav Modry.
Derian Hatcher’s health will be an issue. He missed a lot of hockey with persistent knee problems.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
The hockey landscape has changed — NHL clubs must now look on Russian clubs not as feeder teams whose rosters can be harvested, but as full economic equals. Fortunately for the NHL, it still has the reputation and the quality of life to assure that the Ovechkins and Semins will keep coming to North America, at least for the next few years. But NHL clubs are no longer the only ones with the money. The collapse of the IIHF-NHL player transfer agreement is proof of that.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org